VHF on G/CE-005

As today was such a nice day, I decided some time activating on Wendover Woods was in order. Rather than jostle with the QRM from the ARRL contest on HF, and hearing that 2m was working well, I decided to dust off the Sotabeam and just do VHF today.

I drove up to The Woods and set up in the scenic overlook across The Vale of Aylesbury. It’s a lovely spot inside the activation zone and although it’s popular, there are 3 benches so using one for your gear works fine.

I was ready to go at about 14:15 and started calling on 144.050 CW as alerted. However I didn’t get any replies and for a while I was really struggling with some very bad QRN.

I didn’t have a self spot facility so after 10 minutes or so without a reply, I decided to go to 144.300 and call on SSB instead. This brought an immediate response from M0DSZ in Shropshire and, after a QSY to 144.320, a good run of stations was worked including Roger G0TRB who also spotted me. I was pleased to work up into North Wales to GW0DSP and GW4EVX along a pretty poor path between us so conditions weren’t bad at all.

After things dried up on SSB I called again on 144.050 CW but again drew a blank so I flipped the beam to vertical and called on 145.500 FM. To my surprise, I was answered by Fred GI4MWA/P on GI/MM-010. We QSY’ed to 145.475 but you could have knocked me down with feather and we were both delighted with this FM S2S QSO.

After a couple more QSO’s on FM, I called back on 144.300 SSB and rustled up a QSO with G6XLL in London who was after my WAB book numbers. I was then tail-ended by Richard G0IBE/P for another S2S with him on G/CE-001. The lack of CW QSO’s was more than mitigated by another S2S QSO… great!

I was just about to pack up when I was called by Don G0RQL, who I had missed calling me earlier. Another final call and QSO with 2E0OTL in Wiltshire and I was done and it was time to pack up before the forest gates were locked.

Thanks to all callers and to Roger G0TRB for the spot.

18 QSO’s (15 SSB, 3 FM) including 2 S2S.

Icom 706 II G with 15-20W SSB to a horizontal SB3 or 10W FM to a vertical SB3.

73 Marc G0AZS

In reply to G0AZS:

Hello Marc

It is indeed a very difficult path for me to Wendover Woods and I was delighted with our QSO, well done. Also congrats on your fb s2s with Fred, I bet you are glad you decided on 2 metres for the day. There was definitly some ducting on today, mainly north/south from what I was experiencing. At one stage Phil G4OBK was 59 plus on 2m and GMs were averaging 58/9, as was G6XLL in London. One of those great days in the woods which you will remember.


In reply to G0AZS:
I really must check whether SOTA ops have WAB books more often, HI.
I shall go back and do that now. Thanks for the summit today Marc.
Graham G4FUJ
WAB 14828, 15327, 18140

Many Thanks for The Summit Today Marc

Much Appreciated and nice day for it too

Matt, M3WDS

In reply to G0AZS:
I to thought it an excellent day to be out. I have only been involved in SOTA since Christmas, 14 hills so far, mostly one point, and this was the first time it was warm enough to sit without wearing too many layers and stay as long as I wanted. A summit to summit with G4ERP to start with, and a S2S with yourself and in between 40 other QSO (27 on 80M SSB, 13 on 2M SSB, best 2M DX was EI3GE). An excellent afternoon.


In reply to G0AZS:

Hi Marc,

It was a real pleasure to work you S2S from Slieve Croob, MM-010. I was also using a 3 ele Sotabeam, but with only 4W. Our 2m FM QSO surely counts as good DX by any measure! It must have been a tropospheric duct - I had 11 other contacts with G-land, but Wendover Woods was by far the longest distance. I enjoyed finding you on the map when I got home! I certainly hope we can QSO again under such conditions!

I had a great day out - thanks to all who called me.

73, Fred

Wow. I thought Jimmy M3EYP’s 2m FM QSO S2S from Big Collin GI/AH-008 to John GC0OOO/P on Snowdon GW/NW-001 was impressive. But it is nothing compared to this. Amazing. Well done both.